YOO is one of the most unusual success stories in international real estate. Not simply a designer, YOO is a hybrid company that has made design and lifestyle a key element to residential projects around the world.
YOO has already had a major impact in Panama City, thanks to the YOO Panama, which brought new life and flair to Avenida Balboa. And now developer Durex Property Group is teaming with YOO for the new Wanders & Yoo, the game-changing, two-tower development in the heart of the city.
YOO was started in 1998 by the unique pairing of London entrepreneur John Hitchcox and prolific designer Philippe Starck. At the time, Hitchcox was known for popularizing luxury lofts in Manhattan and dating supermodels Elle Macpherson and Kate Moss. Starck had built his band designing nightclubs, furniture, and a wide array of everyday products that became cool when designed by Starck. They established YOO as something new and revolutionary in property development. They wouldn’t simply slap their brand on a project or design a lobby. YOO would design every aspect of YOO developments, making each one a distinctive work of art.
YOO did something completely new and unusual – connected design and lifestyle. The cool chair or the elaborate light fixture wasn’t about flair, it was about creating a special place to live. It turned a brand into a personal statement; a home that is unique in any city.
They also established a track record for turning ordinary-sounding projects into business success. Even in the worst of the downturn, YOO homes still sold. In many markets, YOO has been a true phenomenon. Projects in India and the U.K. have commanded prices 30 percent above market rates. In Toronto, 66 percent of the YOO sold within five hours of launch. YOO’s first residential project in New York was 90 percent sold within 21 days.
In Panama City, we’ve already seen the YOO Effect. The YOO Panama continued to sell apartments and rent homes at the lowest point of the post-2008 market. When other buildings lowered their rental rates, YOO maintained its pricing, as the lively, fun building continued to attract people.
Over the years, the YOO success story has continued to grow, as YOO expanded on the concept, bringing in new styles and new designers. The roster includes Jade Jagger, Kelly Hoppen, and Wanders, who has put his stamp on Wanders and Yoo. The Dutch designer is a legend, with his work showcased in museums. He also works with many of the top luxury brands in the world, such as Louis Vuitton, Baccarat, and Swarovski, merging art and commerce, making him a natural partner with YOO.
YOO now has 82 projects in 57 cities and 34 countries, throughout Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East. They have changed the business, raising the bar for developments.
That is certainly the case in Panama City, where Wanders & Yoo, is the starting point for any discussion about new downtown development. With its coveted central location and the YOO brand, Wanders & Yoo brings together a connection to nature and the amenities of a top resort with the YOO lifestyle.
The YOO brand, more than any other in the industry, ensures Wanders & Yoo will be special, one of a kind. Every apartment will be home with style and comfort and personality, reflecting the international YOO success story.